Saxophone Fingering Chart

With this interactive Saxophone Fingering Chart it's easy to learn how to finger the notes on your saxophone. Every sax fingering comes with a video guide quick guide and a detailed walk through of both regular and alternate fingerings.

This is a great resource for if you are a saxophone beginner and to learn all the notes on saxophone. I'm showing the fingering on Alto Saxophone in the videos. However, you use the same fingerings on Soprano sax, Alto Sax, Tenor Sax and Baritone Saxophone.

So even if the fingering will sound “different” if you play Soprano or Tenor Sax it is still the correct fingering for that particular note. This has to do with the transposition of the saxophone

I hope you enjoy my guide. Feel free to share it with a friend that could have good use of it too. 

Make sure to grab the Saxophone Fingering Chart PDF Download. It's great both on your screen and printed when you want to reference any notes on your saxophone.

 

Note from the saxophone teacher: These sax fingerings are the same on all types of saxophones. So it doesn't matter if you play alto saxophone, soprano-, tenor- or Bari sax. The fingering chart applies either way.

Saxophone teacher online Greger Hillman

Greger Hillman
Your friendly saxophone teacher online

Hand Positions on the Alto Saxophone

First you need to know how to position your hands and fingers on the Saxophone, so that you are able to play the different notes without having to “re-learn” this later. This is the foundation you need in order to play songs on your sax.

Tip: If you palm your hand as a “Lego hand” it will help especially with your left hand fingerings.

Saxophone fingering chart PDF download and step-by-step tutorial guide

Left hand – around the top part of the Alto Sax

Position the left hand on your saxophone like this:

  1. Place your thumb on the “Thumb plate” on the backside of the sax 
  2. Palm your fingers around the body of the saxophone
  3. Place your index finger on the 2nd key from the top
  4. Place your middle finger on the 4th key from the top
  5. Place your ring finger on the 5th key from the top

 

Right hand – around the bottom part of the Alto Sax

Position the right hand on your saxophone like this:

  1. Place your thumb under the “Thumb grip” on the back of the sax
  2. Palm your fingers around the body so the rest on the keys
  3. Place your index finger on the 1st key from the top
  4. Place your middle finger on the 2th key from the top
  5. Place your ring finger on the 3th key from the top

 

Top  Left hand side keys on the Alto Saxophone

These 3 keys are also referred to as the “palm keys” on saxophone. They are only used when playing the highest notes on the sax. However, If you are having trouble playing any other note on your saxophone you should double check that you are not accidentally pushing one of these palm keys by mistake. It's a common issue that most beginner saxophone players run into before getting a hang on how to hold the saxophone correctly.No worries, You'll figure it out.

You use the palm keys to play the High D note, the High E flat note and the High F note on your saxophone.

 

Alto saxophone left hand side key fingerings

Bottom Right hand side keys on the Alto Saxophone

When you place your right hand around the lower part of your sax you'll have easy access to these three side keys on the sax. However, you need to make sure that you do not press them by accident as the do not work together with more that a few other fingerings. So, make sure that you keep your right hand palmed around the sax without pushing the side keys.

You use these keys to play the B Flat note, The Alternate C fingering and the High E note on your saxophone.

 

Alto Saxophone fingering right hand notes

Saxophone neckstrap – the correct position

You need a neck strap to hold up the saxophone correctly.

About 90 % of the weight of the saxophone should be resting on your shoulders with the help of the neck strap.

The remaining 10% of weight will then be easy to handle with your hands as you fine tune the position of the mouthpiece in your mouth and the saxophone body.

Playing saxophone with a straight back to improve sound and avoid injuries.

Avoid this common beginner sax mistake

A common mistake among Saxophone Beginners is to have the neck strap too loose which result in the saxophone hanging way too low for you to be able to play the saxophone correctly.

You will get a much better sax sound playing with a straight back as it let's the air flow more freely through your lungs at the same time as you prevent back pain and neck pain that you could develop playing bent down like that.

Playing saxophone with a straight back to improve sound and avoid injuries.

Alto Saxophone Fingerings

This guide show you how to finger and play each note on the Alto Saxophone. As all types of saxophones have the same fingerings you can use this with Soprano, Tenor and Baritone Sax too.

However, the Alto sax and Bari saxophone are E flat instruments while the Soprano sax and Tenor Sax are B flat instruments. That means that your note will only match in pitch if you are playing either Alto or Baritone Saxophone.

Saxophone fingering chart PDF download and step-by-step tutorial guide

C note fingering on Alto Saxophone

The C note on Alto Saxophone is one of the easier notes to play.

  • Middle C: Left hand middle finger › press middle key
  • High C: Left hand middle finger › press middle key › Octave key with left thumb
  • Low C: Left hand 3 main keys (B-A-G). Right hand 3 main keys (F-E-D) and the pinky on lowest pinky key.

B note fingering on Alto Saxophone

The B note on Alto Saxophone is one of the first notes beginners learn to play.

  • Middle B: Left hand index finger › press top main key
  • High B: Left hand index finger › press top main key › Octave key with left thumb
  • Low B: Left hand 3 main keys (B-A-G) and left pinky on B plate key. Right hand 3 main keys (F-E-D) and the pinky on lowest pinky key.

B Flat note fingering on Alto Saxophone

The B flat note on Alto Saxophone has both regular and alternate fingerings. These fingerings apply for both B flat and A sharp on your saxophone.

  • Middle B flat: Left hand index- and middle fingers ( B-A) › Right hand first side key (Bb)
  • High B flat: Left hand index- and middle fingers (B-A) and octave key (left thumb) › Right hand first side key (B flat key)
  • Low B flat: Left hand index-, middle- and ring fingers (B-A-G) on the 3 main keys along with the B flat plate pinky key. Right hand index-, middle- and ring fingers (F-E-D) along with low C pinky key. 

A note fingering on Alto Saxophone

The A note on Alto Saxophone is one of the easiest notes to play.

  • Middle A: Left hand index- and middle fingers (B-A keys).
  • High A: Left hand index- and middle fingers (B-A keys) and the octave key with left thumb
  • Low A: Nope! This can only be played on Bari Saxophones with Low A key

A Flat note fingering on Alto Saxophone

The A Flat note on Alto Saxophone and G sharp have the same fingerings.

  • Low A flat: Left hand index-, middle- and ring fingers (B-A-G) and the top plate key (G sharp) with left hand pinky.
  • High A flat: Left hand index-, middle- and ring fingers (B-A-G) and the top plate key (G sharp) with left hand pinky. Add octave key and you got it.

G note fingering on Alto Saxophone

The G note on Alto Saxophone is one of the first notes most saxophone beginners learn how to play.

  • Low G: Left hand index-, middle- and ring fingers (B-A-G keys) 
  • Middle G: Left hand index-, middle- and ring fingers (B-A-G keys). Add octave key with left thumb.

F sharp note fingering on Alto Saxophone

The F sharp note on Alto Saxophone has both regular and alternate fingerings in all three octaves that are really good to know. Learn the basics here and then check details form more on the alternate fingerings. 

  • Low F sharp: Left hand index-, middle- and ring fingers. Right hand middle F sharp key with middle finger.
  • Middle F sharp: Left hand index-, middle- and ring fingers. Right hand middle F sharp key with middle finger. Add octave key with left thumb.
  • High F sharp: Several fingerings to choose from depending on type of saxophone and music. See details for more.

F note fingering on Alto Saxophone

The F note on Alto Saxophone is using just for keys in the basic fingering. However, there's also an alternate fingering for high F.

  • Low F: Left hand index-, middle- and ring fingers (B-A-G). Right hand index finger on F key (top key in right hand).
  • Middle F: Left hand index-, middle- and ring fingers (B-A-G). Right hand index finger on F key (top key in right hand). Add octave key.
  • High F: Left hand octave key and 3 palm keys. Right hand top side key pressed with side of hand. Alternate fork F fingering in details.

E note fingering on Alto Saxophone

The E note on Alto Saxophone also has an alternate high E fingerings for saxophone.

  • Low E: Left hand index-, middle- and ring fingers (B-A-G). Right hand index- and middle fingers (F-E).
  • Middle E: Left hand index-, middle- and ring fingers (B-A-G). Right hand index- and middle fingers (F-E). Add octave key
  • High E: Left hand octave key and 2 palm keys (D-E flat keys). Alternate fork E fingering available in note details. 

E flat note fingering on Alto Saxophone

The E flat note on Alto Saxophone and D sharp share the same fingerings.

  • Low E flat: Left hand index-, middle- and ring fingers (B-A-G). Right hand index-, middle- and ring fingers (F-E-D) and E flat pinky key.
  • Middle E flat: Left hand index-, middle- and ring fingers (B-A-G). Right hand index-, middle- and ring fingers (F-E-D) and E flat pinky key. Add octave key.
  • High E flat: Left hand octave key and 2 palm keys (D and E flat)

D note fingering on Alto Saxophone

The D note on Alto Saxophone can be played in three octaves on the saxophone. 

  • Low D: Left hand index-, middle and ring fingers on 3 main keys. Right hand index-, middle and ring fingers on 3 main keys.
  • Middle D: Left hand index-, middle and ring fingers on 3 main keys. Right hand index-, middle and ring fingers on 3 main keys. Add octave key.
  • High D: Left hand octave key and first palm key (D palm key).

C sharp note fingering on Alto Saxophone

The C sharp note on Alto Saxophone and D sharp share the same fingerings.

  • Low C sharp: Left hand middle finger › press middle key
  • Middle C sharp: Same as Low F but with octave key
  • High C sharp: Left hand middle finger › press middle key › Octave key with left thumb

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